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June 21st, 2016

Pilot’s Failures Lead to Ship Crash

Pilot’s Failure to Communicate Cited as Cause of 2015 Ship Channel Crash

A Houston Ship Channel pilot was held responsible for the collision of two ships in 2015  which resulted in a major chemical spill.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that the pilot, who at the time was guiding the Conti Perdot through thickening fog toward the Port of Houston, failed to communicate navigational instruction which led to the collision with the Carla Maersk, an outbound chemical tanker. The fog had ultimately caused the pilot to lose control of the vessel, and he was too late in warning the impending Carla Maersk that they were vastly approaching one another. The crash occurred March 9, 2015 and caused 88,000 gallons of methyl tert-butyl, or MTBE- a highly flammable and volatile substance used as an additive in gasoline, to spill into the ocean. No one was injured.

The collision between the Conti Peridot and the 29,289-ton tanker, the Carla Maersk, is the fifth accident in the Ship Channel investigated by the NTSB since 2011.

A new report by the NTSB is specifically calling on Port officials to improve safety in heavy fog or other potentially hazardous weather conditions.

For more details, check out the full article:  http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/NTSB-cites-pilot-error-in-2015-Ship-Channel-crash-7971841.php

 

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